LONDON (AP) — Foreign ministers from the G-8 nations on Thursday condemned North Korea's aggressive rhetoric and the development of its nuclear missile programs, saying that Pyongyang's recent actions threaten international security.
The statement came just hours after North Korea delivered a fresh round of rhetoric with claims it had "powerful striking means" on standby for a missile launch and amid speculation that it is preparing to test a medium-range missile during the country's upcoming national celebration.
In a communique following a meeting in London, the G-8 foreign ministers said Pyongyang's "current aggressive rhetoric" will only isolate North Korea. They urged North Korea to refrain from "further provocative acts" and engage in credible talks on abandoning all existing nuclear programs.
"G-8 foreign ministers condemned in the strongest possible terms the continued development of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs by the Democratic People's Republic of Korea," the communique stated.
North Korea's decision to launch a long-range rocket in December and conduct an underground nuclear test in February "seriously undermine regional stability, jeopardize the prospects for lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula and threaten international peace and security," the communique said.
The statement added that ministers are concerned about Pyongyang's plans to re-open its Yongyon nuclear facility.
Germany's foreign minister Guido Westerwelle said North Korea's provocations are escalating a tense situation.
"This war rhetoric is not in any way acceptable and the G-8 has a united position on this," he said on the sidelines of the meeting.
The two-day talks among eight world powers focused on North Korea and the civil war in Syria. They also got some celebrity wattage from an appearance by Angelina Jolie, a U.N. special envoy for refugees who has teamed up with U.K. Foreign Secretary William to prevent sexual violence in war.